DOJ Seeks Emergency Stay on "Don't Ask" Ruling

The Obama administration on Wednesday asked a U.S. appeals court to immediately suspend a judge's ruling that overturned the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays.

The government says it wants the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco to take action on Wednesday. The federal government is preparing arguments for the appeals court on why the ruling on "don't ask, don't tell" should be suspended while the case is appealed.

Emergency Motion under Circuit Rule 27-3

The appeal comes after U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips denied a government request to delay her order halting the military from enforcing its ban on openly gay troops, saying that safeguarding constitutional rights outweighed the government's unproven concerns of the order's impact on military readiness and unit cohesion.

Subsequently, discharged gay troops have begun to seek re-enlistment.

The Obama administration says it is in favor of repealing the law. However, the government says that letting the ruling of U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips go forward immediately would be a major problem for the military.

"The President strongly supports repeal of the statute that the district court has found unconstitutional, a position shared by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," reads the stay, which cites that Comprehensive Review Working Group is near completing a comprehensive review on how to best implement a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

"Effectively developing proper training and guidance with respect to a change in policy will take time and effort," the court papers added. "The district court's injunction does not permit sufficient time for such training to occur, especially for commanders and servicemembers serving in active combat."

More "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Coverage

Judge Denies Delay on Gay Troops Order
Pentagon to Recruiters: Accept Gay Applicants
Will "Don't Ask" Appeal Hurt Democrats at Polls?
Pentagon to Gay Troops: Stay in Closet For Now
Gov't Wants "Don't Ask" Policy to Stay for Now
Obama May Seek Fast Appeal of "Don't Ask" Order
Gates: Court Shouldn't Set Policy on "Don't Ask"